EBI_3940_*

Emily & Patrick’s Green Wedding Reception at Victoria Park Pavilion

One hot July day in 2016, two souls were joined in marriage as a plethora of guests from all corners of the globe looked on. After Emily and Patrick’s heartfelt church ceremony, their friends, family, and small wedding party headed for Victoria Park Pavilion in Kitchener where a massive celebration would soon be underway. After the nuptials, the sky opened up for a terrific thunderstorm, but luckily by that point the party had been safely relocated to the Pavilion and dinner was underway.EBI_1364Em&Pat_*

With many of the groom’s Irish family in attendance, a very green theme made perfect sense for Emily and Pat’s wedding reception. There was plenty of good food and drink on hand as guests took in all the thoughtful little touches that reflected both Emily and Patrick and their mutual loves. From shamrock sugar cookies to family heirlooms and wee bunny rabbit decorations in honour of their pet, Simon, there were plenty of unique things to behold at this wedding.

Then there was the photo wall! After plenty of discussions over the past year, Emily and I agreed that I would attend their reception and photograph some key details of speeches and decor, but my main job would be to create a totally unique customized photo wall that would contribute to their green, green and more green theme. In the end I painted an abstract botanical pattern for the main backdrop, and accented it with handmade giant paper succulents. By setting up a freestanding photo wall on the stage at the Victoria Park Pavilion the day before, I was able to simply walk on set and start photographing the guests the evening of the wedding. As an added bonus for the happy couple, the custom photo backdrop provided extra ambiance to the venue throughout their whole reception.

As usual, the guests took to the photo wall like ducks to water and before long I found myself sorting through hundreds of hilarious group shots. Here are a bunch of my favourites. Emily and Patrick, I hope that as the years stretch on you and all of your friends and family get a real kick out of reliving your fantastic wedding celebration through these images.

EBI_3681BW_*EBI_4341_*

EBI_3929_*EBI_4003BW_*EBI_3560_*

EBI_3496_*EBI_3802_* EBI_3589_* EBI_3920_*EBI_3555_*EBI_4302_*EBI_4100_* EBI_4030_*EBI_3611_*EBI_3733_*EBI_4126_* EBI_4068_*EBI_4125_*EBI_4137_*EBI_4055_*EBI_3922SQ_* EBI_3595_* EBI_3547_* EBI_3625BW_* EBI_3658_* EBI_3662BW_*EBI_3896_*EBI_3785_* EBI_3710_* EBI_3715_*EBI_3682_*  EBI_3745_* EBI_3765_* EBI_3773BW_* EBI_3774_*  EBI_3795_* EBI_3798_*  EBI_3818_* EBI_3847_* EBI_3851_* EBI_3862_*  EBI_3899_* EBI_3906_*     EBI_3934_* EBI_3936_*   EBI_3949BW_* EBI_3960sq_* EBI_3961_* EBI_3978sq_* EBI_4003_*  EBI_4029_*     EBI_4061_*  EBI_4074_*  EBI_4086_* EBI_4098_*  EBI_4112BW_*   EBI_4128_*   EBI_4162_* EBI_4174_* EBI_4177_* EBI_4190_* EBI_4208_* EBI_4221_* EBI_4321_* EBI_4333_*  EBI_4356_* EBI_4367sqBW_*

EBI_3466_*EBI_4050_*EBI_4049_*EBI_3913_*EBI_3688_*EBI_4079_*EBI_4030_*EBI_4130_*EBI_3939_*

Congratulations E & P, I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon and a most excellent life together!!!

xo Emily

Kristen & David’s Intimate Springtime Wedding

K&Dwedding306Kristen and David were wed on a romantic misty May afternoon, and I was lucky enough to be there to capture it. I met the bride something like four years ago, when she was a bridesmaid and I was the photographer for her big sister’s wedding. Right away, I felt a connection with this big, warm, fun loving family, so I was thrilled when Kristen contacted me last year and asked if I’d take pictures for a few hours throughout her simple and chic springtime wedding day.

The beautiful couple planned an intimate wedding day that brought their closest friends and family together for a gorgeous casual portrait session at the groom’s parents’ home outside of Cambridge, followed by a short and sweet marriage ceremony at The Charcoal Steakhouse in Kitchener. The groom had his best friend at his side as best man, and the bride chose her 3 sisters to stand up with her as her bridesmaids. After one of the most laid back, relaxed and happy ceremonies I’ve ever participated in, the whole group retired to the bar for some fancy cocktails before a lovely dinner served at one long harvest table. Love and laughter spilled from the private dining room as I left the revelers to their celebrations.

David and Kristen have a beautiful compatibility,  and I hope that comes through in the images we captured together. K&Dwedding197_blogK&Dwedding281_blogK&Dwedding28_blog K&Dwedding44_blog K&Dwedding294_blog

K&Dwedding198_blogK&Dwedding61_blog

K&Dwedding279_blogK&Dwedding250_blog K&Dwedding116K&Dwedding269_blog   K&Dwedding308_blog K&Dwedding80_blog K&Dwedding83_blog K&Dwedding84_blog K&Dwedding63_blogK&Dwedding236_blog K&Dwedding94_blog K&Dwedding105_blog K&Dwedding120_blog  K&Dwedding155_blog K&Dwedding158_blog K&Dwedding161_blog K&Dwedding166_blog K&Dwedding172_blog K&Dwedding177_blog K&Dwedding178_blog        K&Dwedding208_blog   K&Dwedding223_blog K&Dwedding226_blog K&Dwedding229_blog   K&Dwedding246_blog  K&Dwedding255_blog K&Dwedding259_blog  K&Dwedding69_blog  K&Dwedding283_blog  K&Dwedding297_blog K&Dwedding299_blog  K&Dwedding217_blogK&Dwedding305_blog  K&Dwedding318_blog K&Dwedding195_blogK&Dwedding323_blog  K&Dwedding350_blog  K&Dwedding121_blog K&Dwedding374_blog  K&Dwedding384_blog K&Dwedding181_blogK&Dwedding390_blog    K&Dwedding486_blog

K&Dwedding331_blogK&Dwedding300_blogK&Dwedding528_blogThanks so much for selecting me to capture your memories K & D! It was an absolute pleasure to document your big day. Here’s to many happy years together. Cheers!

 

 

Bonding Through Breastfeeding, A Photo Essay

EBI_6829editBW

 

One of the most unexpectedly fascinating parts of becoming a grown up has been watching many of my peers become parents. My little sister and most of my close female friends are now mothers. I love seeing the diverse ways they choose to raise their children. Parenthood has brought about new characteristics, new strengths, weaknesses, new insights and new joys in each of them.

I can recall a recent conversation with a high school friend, mother to a beautiful 6 month old baby girl, where she said something like, “I had always heard that breastfeeding created a special bond between mother and child, and I thought I knew what it was going to be like, but really I had no idea what it would be like.” She was amazed at the depth of the bond that this relationship created between her and her baby.

ebi_6710edit__Emily_Beatty

 

Not every mother is physically capable of breastfeeding her child. As far as I’m concerned, any parent that is keeping their baby healthy by feeding it a whole bunch of times every single day is doing a great job. Some of my friends used formula, some dedicated moms pumped every 3 hours for months on end to provide the benefits of breast milk to their offspring, and some lucky women have the natural ability to provide sustenance directly from their bodies. For those who are able, it seems to me that breastfeeding has been a blessing. Besides the practicality of having portable infant food that is naturally fortified to provide exactly what your particular child requires, there’s also the added benefit of strengthening the bond between parent and child. Babies that are breastfeed are for the most part, healthy and content, and I’m happy to be able to share imagery that helps normalize this practice.

EBI_6350edit

 

When another friend of mine who is also a longtime client had a baby girl of her own in the spring of 2015, she too discovered that breastfeeding was a way to get to know her baby. She is determined to enjoy the process of becoming a mother and wanted to document the activity that had been such a comfort to her and her daughter in the first months after Miss R. was born.

The images in this blog post are lifestyle type pictures that we captured together one cold winter day. They are pictures that are deeply personal, but also important to share.

I’ll let Kate explain why in her own words.

EBI_6676edit

 

“Breastfeeding. I had no idea how much this simple act of nourishment and comfort would mean to me, or how much it would bring to my relationship with Rory. When she was tiny, it was the only way she’d sleep (which is incredibly healthy and normal!). As she grew, it was the magical substance and space that helped her get well when she was sick. It’s a sure bet to calm her and make her feel safe as she tumbles around exploring the world and her body’s abilities. And now, it’s the first thing she asks for when she’s had a mommy-less day at daycare. My body is amazing. It provides not just physical, but emotional and mental nourishment for my child.

EBI_6313edit_web

 

But breastfeeding can be really, really hard. Not just at the beginning when mum and babe are learning the whole dance of latching and positions and milk flow. It’s hard when they hit the age of distraction and won’t stay latched because everything else in the world is too interesting. It’s hard when you’ve been woken up for the umpteenth time that night and the boob is the only thing to put babe back into a sweet slumber. It’s hard when they are teething and bite your nipples like a little chew toy (and yes, there’s been blood!). It’s hard when you have to go back to work and begin to wean babe from the one thing that has brought you both so much comfort and countless hours of slumber. And, at any stage in your breastfeeding journey, it’s ESPECIALLY hard when you are out in public and babe needs/wants to nurse, yet you are fearful of the ridicule, stares or gestures from strangers.

EBI_6350edit_web

 

Public breastfeeding is something that I am very comfortable with. Not just because it’s the best (and easiest) thing for our family, but because it’s a movement I believe wholeheartedly in. It’s important to me to do all I can to help normalize breastfeeding, in real life and on social media!

EBI_6785edit_web

 

To commemorate my journey (one that I do hope will continue for quite some time yet), the amazing Emily Beatty Lister came and did a photoshoot with Rory and I nearly 7 months ago. I wanted to have something to remember this indescribable bond, and both tender and hilarious moments that Rory and I share when breastfeeding. Still to this day, the way she looks at me when latched; the way she can simultaneously eat and smile; the way she places my hands on her body and face; the way she plays with my fingers and face; the way she squeezes my breast with love, anticipation and fulfillment…all of it stops time for me and reminds me to be fully present with my child. It reminds me what a good job I am doing raising her, and how far we have come. Such powerful and important lessons.

EBI_6510edit_web

 

Raising a daughter in a world that sexualizes girls and teaches them from a young age that their value lies in their bodies and appearances is scary, but something I know I can counter by intentionally parenting a fierce, smart, aware little gal. Normalizing breastfeeding and desexualizing breasts is just a part of this process. For me, for Rory, for Steve…for all other mums and daughters and kids and partners. And so, I share .”

EBI_6284edit_web

 

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful insights, Kate.

I’m looking forward to many more photo shoots with you and Miss Rory as she grows.

Want more resources regarding breastfeeding in our community? You can start here.

 

 

All The Colour

Well hello there! Got time for a quick story?

Emily Beatty Imagery 2016

 

Years ago, while preparing for one of my early art sales, my dad, in an attempt to counsel me, said, “You know Em, you like to make everything really colourful. And that’s cool, but some people don’t have the kind of house that works with that sort of art. Some people like beige.” I gave it some thought and he’s right of course, but I’m too stubborn to let it rest at that, so I replied, “Well if the people want beige, I’m sure there are 100 other photographers in town that can do a great job taking boring photos for them.” I’ve always done things my own way, and I don’t see any reason to stop now. My experiments with more frequent, more stylized mini photo shoots are going well. I want to see my work expand in exciting, more bold, more independent directions. I’m going to stay focused on creating work for clients that I really like and I’m proud of. That means its going to be joy-filled, vivid, fun and always, always, colourful.

It turns out your vibe really does attract your tribe, so in 2016 I’m putting it all out there. My art isn’t for everybody, but those who like it, like it a lot. I’m all about portraits that are packed with a ton of colour, texture, fun angles, and genuine emotions. If you like your life bright, bold and sunny side up, you’re in the right place, and you should be excited because I have a shocking amount of never before seen images coming to the blog soon. Want to collaborate on a shoot? Got feedback? Leave me a comment below, or better yet, shoot me an e-mail, I’d love to hear from you!

xoxo

emilybeatty_signature for contract

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Kitchener Waterloo Portrait Photographer’s Top Shots from 2015

EBI_2798instaEDIT__Emily_BeattyWhat a year! For me and EBI, 2015 turned out to be a flurry of excitement full of extreme highs and lows, big life changes and unprecedented career opportunities.

The year opened up with elaborate plans for my own “glitter garden party” wedding scheduled for June, escalated with Easter minis, continued with the honour winning a YWCA 2015 Woman of Distinction Award, got complicated when I learned who my true friends were in the spring months, and peaked in June when I vowed (on literally the rainiest, stormiest day in 6 years) to stick with Todd forever. Just our luck.

ebi_3412edit_montage_Emily_Beatty

Me and my business hit the ground running in August and the number of jobs I had on the go steadily increased until holiday minis and then the Christmas rush were upon us. After some personal tragedies and the deaths of 2 family members and my beloved bunny, Todd and I had plenty of opportunities to test the strength of our new marriage. I’m pleased to report that through all the various challenges 2015 presented us with, the two of us have become a stronger team than ever. With his support, I shot and edited more portraits for more clients this holiday season than I would have believed possible in the recent past. For weeks on end I was running on coffee and editing around the clock as Todd delivered photo packages for me all over town. I actually had to turn potential clients away in December because there just weren’t enough hours to fit everybody in before the big deadline on the 25th. I would have liked to help those families out, but I admit it also felt like a bit of a milestone for my business to have reached a point where I can afford to turn people away.ebi_0425editCrop__Emily_Beatty

At long last, it feels like I’ve got a substantial client base rooting for me, and what excellent clients they are! In a classic example of Murphy’s law, when my new husband and I finally got a chance to slow down on Christmas day, Santa blessed us with food poisoning and we both rang in the New Year in a rather disgusting state.

It truly was a crazy year, full of far more challenges, joys and sorrows than I ever could have anticipated. These are the images, personal and professional, that stick out for me after the last 365 days of living life and pursuing my dreams at full speed.

ebi_9094edit__Emily_Beatty_EBI0525editcrop__Emily_Beatty

Fun kids portrait photographer in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira area. _EBI9790_ZOE__Emily_BeattyEBI_4840e__Emily_Beattyebi_6710edit__Emily_Beatty_EBI0108CropEDIT_montage_Emily_Beattyebi_6496edit***__Emily_BeattyEBI_4955cropEDIT**__Emily_Beatty_EBI4286edit*__Emily_Beatty_EBI7921edit*_montage_Emily_Beatty_ebi2261eCROP*sqEBI_3341eebi_3200edit_montage_Emily_Beatty_EBI4480edit__Emily_Beatty5385edit_montage__Emily_Beatty30th_EBI_4783__blog__Emily_Beatty_EBI6015edit*__Emily_BeattyEBI_3523edit__Emily_Beattyebi_0425editCrop_montage__Emily_BeattyJ&B-412__Emily_Beatty

EBI_1476edit*_montage_Emily_BeattyEBI_1089edit__Emily_BeattyDSC_0293e_montage_Emily_BeattyEBI_2521 (1)edit__Emily_Beattyebi_2875edit__Emily_Beattyebi_3392edit__Emily_Beattyebi_3125edit_montage_Emily_Beattyebi_3185edit_montage_Emily_Beattyebi_3319edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_2913edit_montage_Emily_Beattyebi_4317edit__Emily_Beattyebi_3863edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_8792edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_1787edit***__montage_desat__Emily_BeattyTara_M_EBI4189eC__Emily_BeattyEBI_2089edit*SQ_*montage__Emily_BeattyC&R67__Emily_BeattyEBI_5504emily_beatty_imagery_montage_Emily_BeattyEBI_4244edit__Emily_Beattyebi_3519edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_0766 (1)edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_5270edit__Emily_Beattyebi_3173edit__Emily_Beattyebi_3306edit__Emily_Beatty_EBI4029edit__Emily_BeattyAmy_EBI4385edit_web__Emily_Beatty7468TEASEReditBW__Emily_Beatty_ebi6133edit__Emily_BeattyDSC_0104__Emily_Beatty_EBI3675edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_5836edit__Emily_Beatty_montages_Emily_BeattyEBI_4792eSUNSETcolourPUNCH__Emily_BeattyMontageMerylBill__Emily_BeattyEBI_4262crop***__Emily_Beatty_EBI2189editfix__montages__Emily_BeattyDSC_0249_montage_Emily_Beatty_EBI8948_Robyn_Edit_montage_Emily_BeattyEBI_5103editERICcarle__Emily_Beattyebi_4333ehighcontrasteditcrop*__Emily_Beatty_EBI6271edit__Emily_Beattyebi_5562edit__Emily_Beattyebi_5417edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_0394 (1)edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_0570 (1)e_montage__Emily_Beattyebi_9788edit***__Emily_Beattyebi_7480edit*__Emily_Beattyebi_7837edit__Emily_Beattyebi_5656edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_3739GoodTeaser__Emily_Beatty_montages_Emily_BeattyEBI_1733edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_1453edit_montage_Emily_BeattyEBI_1951 (1)edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_3673web__Emily_Beatty_EBI3523edit__Emily_Beattyebi_6844editCROP__Emily_Beatty_EBI4217edit__Emily_BeattyM&Rmontage1__Emily_BeattyEBI_9720stars__Emily_Beattyebi_5558edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_2114 (1)Edit_montage_montage_Emily_Beattyebi_4320edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_1689Edit*smokegreen__Emily_Beattyebi_9651e__Emily_BeattyEBI_2474 (1)EDIT*_montage_Emily_BeattyEBI_8711edit__Emily_BeattyEBI_5456edit_WEBmontage__Emily_BeattyEBI_2290editTEASER_montage_Emily_Beatty EBI_8743edit__Emily_Beatty EBI_2049 (1)Edit_montage__Emily_Beattyebi_1168edit_m_Emily_Beattyebi_0735edit_montage__Emily_Beatty4841EmilyBeattyImagery*__Emily_Beatty montage2*_m_Emily_Beattyebi_2168edit__Emily_Beattyebi_6976edit_montage_m_Emily_Beatty  ebi_6455edit__Emily_Beatty ebi_6215edit_montage_Emily_Beatty EBI_7726edit_website__Emily_Beatty _EBI5345edit*__Emily_Beattyebi_7242editCROP_montage_Emily_BeattyEBI_1380editEM__Emily_Beatty EBI_4387editCROP2__Emily_BeattyEBI_8221edit__Emily_Beattyebi_8452edit_WEBmontage_m_Emily_BeattyEBI_4287edit*BW__Emily_BeattyJ&B-396__Emily_Beatty

 

Thanks so much for being here and for taking a few moments from your busy day to glance at my pictures. Wishing you love, peace and joy in 2016.

2015card_Em&ToddMxmas__Emily_Beatty

 

Alli’s All That Glitters 30th Birthday Bash & Photo Wall

Alli is somebody that I shared plenty of lunch hours with back when we were both high school students at E.D.S.S. 15 years ago. Over the past year or two, we’ve had the opportunity to reconnect over several different creative projects. As it turns out, we have a lot in common when it comes to style. I was thrilled back in August when she enlisted me to create a custom photo wall for her 30th birthday party at Beertown in Waterloo Town Square. We agreed that pink, white, and gold glitter would be our theme and right away I starting imagining how I might be able to create a super sparkly backdrop for Alli’s party pics.

30th_EBI_4400HBA__blog We experienced the first big snow of the season on the November night of the party, and it certainly contributed a lovely atmosphere to the event. Big fat flakes spiraled lazily from the sky and more than once I caught party goers outside crafting snowballs and then pelting their friends. The birthday girl loves wintertime and so it didn’t take too much to convince a few guests to step outside with her for some seasonal snaps.EBI_4460Alli30teaser__blog

I’m so glad I got this opportunity to re-use some of the handmade paper flowers from my wedding, and to make Alli a statement wall that really dazzled. Alli’s guests were treated to fabulous food, cake and cupcakes, party favours, plenty of drinks, a customized playlist, and even handmade photo props designed to accentuate our custom wall. The result was a night to remember… although now that I think about it, I suspect that not everybody survived the night with their memory perfectly intact. Good thing we ended up with all these fun party pics so that everyone can relive that festivities again and again.

Alli, may your 30th year be your best one yet.

Cheers!

30th_EBI_4395__blog30th_EBI_4667__blog 30th_EBI_4609__blog 30th_EBI_4783__blog30th_EBI_4895__blog30th_EBI_4732__blog30th_EBI_4679__blog 30th_EBI_4441__blog 30th_EBI_4462__blog 30th_EBI_4467__blog 30th_EBI_4508__blog 30th_EBI_4602glitters__blog30th_EBI_4531__blog30th_EBI_4664__blog30th_EBI_4892__blog30th_EBI_4686__blog30th_EBI_4486__blog30th_EBI_4867__blog30th_EBI_4602__blog 30th_EBI_4555CROP__blog 30th_EBI_4585__blog 30th_EBI_4842__blog30th_EBI_4643__blog30th_EBI_4406__blog30th_EBI_4837__blog 30th_EBI_4826__blog 30th_EBI_4531__blog30th_EBI_4851__blog30th_EBI_4450__blog30th_EBI_4740__blog30th_EBI_4390__blog30th_EBI_4632__blog

 

 

Little Witches, A Hocus Pocus Inspired Photo Shoot

“Come little children, I’ll take thee away, into a land of enchaaaaantment.” You just sang that out loud, right? If you didn’t, you need to get yourself a copy of Hocus Pocus. This year I only watched it 3 times. Best Halloween movie ever. No one will ever convince me otherwise.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a witch. Like, the rides a broomstick, waves a wand and wears a pointy hat type of storybook witch. Long before Joanne Rowling changed her moniker to J.K. Rowling and introduced the world to Harry Potter, I was casting spells on my little sister and concocting imaginary potions in the cauldron that my family used for a huge corn roast party every August. (Ok fine, there’s a chance I was a weird kid.) We often pretended to have magical abilities in the exact location you see here, a place we called “Fairyland” when we were growing up. Super original name, I know. Guess what we thought lived in that mossy little circle of trees???

Now a photographer in my thirties, I love Halloween wholeheartedly, and normally I put together a spooky styled minis event leading up to October 31st. This year, 3 weddings and ton of portrait orders made that impossible. Instead, I decided to invite my best little friends to dress up and spend an afternoon pretending to be witches, just like mini versions of Winnifred, Sarah and Mary Saunderson, and just for fun. I ended up with 4 little witches, but I figured the more the merrier. The other facets of my inspiration for this project included the cauldron I suspected was still hanging around in the long grass at the back of my parents’ countryside home, and the one remaining smoke bomb I had left over from my wedding party pictures. Its not every day you encounter the means to have a genuine cauldron full of colourful smoke surrounded by tiny witches, but my sister and 2 friends agreed to bring their kids and so I set out to purchase all the tulle and other materials necessary to whip up a handful of costumes overnight. My sewing machine is on its last legs but I was able to whip up a couple of stretchy tops, a corset type thingy and some rough tutus. Somehow, we managed to plan and execute this shoot within just a couple of days.

I guess we did alright, as 2 of the 4 girls elected to wear their costumes out for Trick Or Treating. My niece, L doesn’t seem to grasp the witches concept and considers her tulle ensemble a “Fall Princess” costume, but I’m just glad she agreed to wear it. While I think the girls and their mamas enjoyed themselves, it was my Godson, Mr T. who clearly got the last laugh. His mom had the great idea to stick him in to the cauldron surrounded with little witches. To be honest, we figured he’d scream for 10 seconds, we’d snap the shot and then pull him out for a snuggle and it would be a hilarious moment for him and his sisters to look back on many years from now. No way, he loved being the main ingredient for our potion! Smiles for days. Just loving life in that dirty old cauldron.

Enjoy the results of our first little witches styled shoot!

Thank you so much to the friends and family that made this shoot possible! Most notably, my mom and dad for moving the cauldron into place and helping me add all the fall decor to the set, my friends Linnea and Megan for bringing their little witches (and the frog) to the shoot and for throwing together some phenomenal last minute costume components, to my sister and her daughter for their smiles, and of course, thanks to all the models: L & M & T & L & P. Hopefully you all got a kick out of our little experiment. Now that I know the smoke bomb works really well in the confined space of the cauldron, I hope this is something we can pull off again in the future. Happy Halloween!

EBI_3864GoodTeaser_website*

Beach Cottage Family Portraits in Grand Bend

For years now, Carol Anne has been saying to her children, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have family photos done here at the cottage?” As summer 2015 began to wind down, her youngest daughter (who happens to be dating my brother) organized just such a shoot as a surprise for her mom’s birthday. I put together a pretty gift certificate and all three of Carol Anne’s children and their partners drove to the cottage especially for an afternoon of fun family photography.

(Plus a pizza party.) 

We decided to shoot in the yard at their cottage in Grand Bend, and at the beach just a few minutes walk away. Our theme was simple beach chic with classic neutral outfits so that their portraits will be appropriate to hang on the walls of their homes and the cottage for many years to come. Luckily, the weather was very pleasant for the end of September. As an added bonus, including lots of blacks and whites and stripes in their outfits like they’ve done here means their images will look great in black and white as well as in colour. I brought along one blue vintage suitcase full of props for sitting on, one folding chair and some marquee lights that spell LOVE leftover from our wedding last June, plus my camera bag, of course. That’s all it took for a great shoot!

As I suspected, this family was game for every silly suggestion I flung at them, and we managed to do a family shoot with 8 people plus four mini couples shoots in just over 2 hours. They’ve yet to pick out their favourite shots, but I got all excited by the sand and sky and the smiles and edited up a big teaser gallery right away to get their order started. Here’s a wee sneak peek for you, happy birthday Carol Anne!

P.S. I captured the MOST amazing Ontario sunset on my drive home from this beach shoot. More on that later.

EBI Has A New Boss

Emily Beatty Self Portrait 2015 Hello dear readers, and welcome to the next chapter of EBI! That’s right folks, Mrs. Lister is in effect. My name has changed, but my vision hasn’t. I’ve been slacking in the social media department, but I’m here to tell you that ends now.

Last week I found myself having coffee with a close friend in my living room, and saying something to the effect of, “I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long without a big creative endeavour on the go. I feel like I haven’t produced anything cool in a year.” My friend laughed, because she was seated in the opposite direction, facing a brand new gallery style wall chock full of crafty and colourful photos taken at our wedding. Now I’m looking back on the preceeding months and trying to figure out if this has been the most or least prolific period of my career.

If you ask any of our close friends or extensive family members, it was a crazy vivid year of glitter art, party plans and whimsical expectations. There was a month or two where you literally couldn’t get into our home without tripping on some kind of spray painted, decoupaged, sparkle encrusted wedding craft. I busted our vacuum by exceeding its sequin and glitter capacity. Seriously. All my life I’ve loved making pretty things, and as I recognized the early stages of photography related burnout, I decided to embrace party planning like it was my job. It was a new way to channel my creativity within an industry that I’ve been a part of for several years now. The trouble was from my clients’ perspectives, I’m sure it looked as though I was just hanging out. While my personal contact list was getting tired of seeing so many images of cakes and dresses and tablescapes, those of you who have always supported my art and my business saw a dramatic decline in my engagement with social media as I allowed my focus to drift away from EBI in favour of more romantic pursuits.

I didn’t shoot anybody during July. And that for me, is a big deal. It was a decision I made many months previously, a decision to slooooowww things down and get my bearings. For awhile there you see, I was charging forward, camera in hand, digging myself deeper and deeper into a pile of projects I couldn’t begin to imagine my way out of. When Todd proposed, all of a sudden my creative to-do list doubled. I guess you could say I spent the majority of the past year in over my head. Thank goodness I had my mom and my sister and my partner’s fantastic family keeping me organized and focused when it came to planning our big day.

I was awake for what felt like a week solid during mid June as I scrambled to get everybody taken care of so that I could go well and truly off the grid for a week or two following our nuptials. I sent off the final client photo gallery an hour before we had to go to our rehearsal dinner. Then somebody told me the forecast for our wedding day. Oh boy.

Worst summer storm in six years. Perfect day to get married. Our devoted friends and family members pulled together to throw us the garden party wedding of our dreams in teeming wind and rain that never once let up. The party was confined to a tent in my parent’s backyard, but oh the marvels we had crammed into that tent! At the end of the night we were all very cold and wet, very tired, and very glad to be married and moving on from all the matrimonial mayhem that had dominated the last year of our lives.

I’m so glad I had the sense to step back and enjoy the bridal period of my life. It was a whirlwind that I was thrilled to revel in at the time, but now I’m more than ready to get back behind the camera where I belong. To kick off this new era in my photography career, I challenged myself to put together a self portrait featuring as much Emilyness as I could pack into one small faux-wallpapered square. This was also my first attempt at making floral crowns with fresh greenery, and I have to admit I’m rather pleased with the result. I think I see more DIY tutorials and more self portrait projects on the horizon. After all, I’m the only model I know that works night shifts for free with absolutely no prior notice, and the crafty component is something fun and unique that I can bring to photo shoots. Its worth all the effort, because nothing feels as good as capturing an idea out of thin air, translating it with a camera, and eventually watching it roll out of my printer in real life. At long last I feel recharged and reinvigorated to pursue my passion: connecting with awesome individuals by photographing life’s best moments in vivid colour. Thanks for sticking with me!