Thursday, 27 June 2013

Taking Better Photographs: Babies


Isn't he just precious? This is Rowan, the adorable baby boy of a good friend of mine. I am simply in love with him and his personality.  This is the happiest, sweetest baby I've ever met, and I just couldn't wait to practice my photography skills on such a great little subject.

Since making my very first light box to help me take better photos, I've been trying to learn how to take professional looking photos in different situations. I recently asked a photographer friend for some tips on how to take better photos of babies and children and here is what I got out of it so far:

 

1. Documentary vs Portrait

 

For these shots, I chose portrait as I wanted to capture Rowan's personality. This meant that we took him out of his regular environment and focused in on him instead of capturing him in an everyday situation.

 

2. Indirect Lighting

 

Lighting is probably the most important aspect of perfecting your craft. Direct sunlight can be too harsh, so I opt for a spot with even shade so that I don't get shadows.

 

3. Find the Angles 

 

I have two suggestions: Get down low and get close up. 

 

Getting close ups of a baby is a great way to improve the angles and make your shots seem more intimate. I opted for a longer focal length for the really close shots as I didn't want to freak him out by sticking my camera into his face.


I really loved photographing this little guy. Does anyone in Toronto have any kids or pets I can practice taking photos of? If so, leave me a note in the comments below!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Prairie Luv: Rustic Wedding


All I can say is... Thank God it's Friday!
Tonight we are flying off to the Canadian Prairies for yet another wedding. If you are already sick of me talking about weddings, I'm sorry, but gear up as I'm also making July somewhat of a wedding month (it's our upcoming one year wedding anniversary, yay!).

I just can't help it, knowing how much blood, sweat and tears go into planning weddings, I have a deep appreciation for gorgeous weddings that have every detail pulled together.

I'm imagining a rustic chic wedding with tons of vintage and glam details for this weekend, but it's also exciting to think that this wedding is going to be super chic and modern, completely different from what I'm stereotyping the prairies with. I guess I'll find out soon enough, till then, have a great weekend!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Wisconsin Wedding Weekend: Kate & Dan


We just attended our first wedding of the season and it was a blast. My good friend Dan (from first year of uni) married the lovely Kate in her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.



The day started at 2pm with an amazing church ceremony. One of Kate's bridesmaids sang a song for them that gave me goosebumps. I wish I had that type of talent! The bride looked absolutely radiant and the groom looked giddy with happiness.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but overall, their wedding was relaxed, rustic and really fun. Dan and Kate had met in ballroom class and you really felt the dance floor come alive when the two of them were on it. Who knew that a guy that tall and lanky could move so well?






























 Andy and I had a really great time and wish them a lifetime of happiness.




Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes


I've been really focused on gaining some lean muscle mass lately.  In fact, once I am finished working at my day job, I am usually off to the gym or preparing copious amounts of clean, healthy food to reward my (aching) muscles with.

I have always been really active. I trained and breathed karate steadfastly for 17 years of my life and even made it on the Canadian Karate team. Since graduating from university, then traveling across the ocean blue (I used to work on a cruise ship!) and then settling into my "real" job, I've moved, gotten married and found new interests in running, dancing, crossfit and quick gym sessions of strictly weight training. It's hard to accept anything less than perfection from myself (and yes, I realize that I may be too hard on myself sometimes) but I just can't accept the fact that with age comes a decrease in energy and stamina, and so I push to make eating well and training hard a part of my everyday life.

Actually, I want to strive for perfection in everything that I do. I want to be better to the earth and environment, I want to be a better friend, a smarter individual, a better DIYer, a better artist, a better cook and a better blogger... but I digress, and now I'll just be better at getting straight to the point and post my recipe for these delicious protein pancakes I eat on workout days.

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes for 2:

Ingredients
  • 1 Small sweet potato, baked in skin (short on time? Poke with a fork a few times and microwave it for 3-4 minutes on high)
  • 2 Whole eggs (alternatively, you may just use the egg whites if you want)
  • 1/4 Cup almond milk (I use Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original 40)
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 2  Scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (I use this whey powder, as it even comes in a biodegradable container!)
  • 1 Tsp Coconut oil (I like the Grace Coconut Oil Brand for its nutty flavour)
Instructions:
  1. Scoop out the flesh of the baked sweet potato into a blender. Discard the skin.
  2. Add the almond milk and water to the blender and blend with the sweet potato for 10 seconds.
  3. Add 2 scoops of your vanilla whey protein powder and the 2 eggs to the blender and blend all of the ingredients together.
  4. Set stove to Medium heat and use a tiny amount of coconut oil to grease the pan each time you pour the batter in small circles. (Mine always turn out oblong shaped for some reason)
  5. Flip after about 30 seconds on each side.
The sweet potato and vanilla protein powder are pretty sweet, so I don't use any syrup, but you can choose to top with some Greek yogurt, fruit or powdered sugar if need be.

While you're gobbling these babies up, might I suggest this awesomely motivational video for your viewing pleasure:




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